Solicitor/own client disputes

A significant part of my practice is in the field of solicitor/own client disputes.

I act both for solicitors and their former clients, on solicitor/own client detailed assessments under the Solicitors Act 1974.

I also act for solicitors and their former clients, in substantive litigation, where not only the quantum of costs is in dispute, but where allegations of professional negligence and fraud are made.

Solicitor/own client assessments typically are heard in the High Court and actions for costs/professional negligence will typically now be issued in one of the specialist courts in the district registries.

In 2019 I appeared in the Court of Appeal in the landmark case of Herbert v HH Law Limited [2019] EWCA Civ 527 concerning section 70 assessments, the basis upon which success fees could be calculated, and whether ATE insurance premiums could be contested in a solicitor-own client assessment.

I have prepared a short guide for clients of solicitors who fear that they have been overcharged and are wondering whether they might challenge the bills that they have been sent.

A copy of the guide can be downloaded here: Solicitor and Client Costs Disputes.

Sometimes a section 70 assessment or litigation of any kind may not be in a client’s best interests, particularly if the dispute is over a small sum of money, or where the real complaint relates to shortcomings in client care.

In such circumstances a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman may be a better option. I can draft letters of complaint for a client to submit in support of their claim for a remedy.